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World Cup of Hooligans: Russian politician backs glamour spy Anna Chapman and says thugs SHOULD be allowed to fight

WORLD CUP 2018 By Mirror | June 7th 2018
Police quelling riots in Euro 2016. [Photo/Courtesy]

Fights between rival gangs of fans at the World Cup should be allowed and regulated by the authorities, says a top Russian politician.

The controversial proposal to permit hooligan brawls - and turn them into showcase events in stadiums - has also been highlighted by glamour spy Anna Chapman just a week before the tournament begins.

She also claimed that leaders of Russian ultra groups “are arranging ‘castings’ to select fighters for upcoming wars with rival fans' groups.”

Igor Lebedev, a pro-Vladimir Putin ultranationalist who is also deputy chairman of the Russian parliament, this week rekindled a proposal he first made last year.

“Imagine English fans coming, for example,” said the politician who is also on the executive committee of the Russian Football Union, equivalent of the FA.

“So they come and start to brag.

“And our answer will be: the challenge was accepted, see you this time at the stadium.

“Twenty people from each side, no guns. Read the rules on our website.”

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The Russian authorities have sought in the World Cup build-up to crush hooliganism, forcing fights to forests.

Gang leaders have been ordered to vanish to remote villages or face harsh sanctions from the FSB security service.

But Lebedev said: “We all have to understand that there are things which we can't escape.”

He claimed: “Our fans are fighters, but not hooligans.

“And fan fights can be turned into sport...

“We can introduce rules and run competitions.”

British fans engaging in fights. [Photo/Courtesy]

Flame haired Chapman, 36, expelled from the US after the FBI caught her spying, used her social media to call for a discussion on the Levedev plan.

She asked: “Tell me what do you think - are you ready for fan fights to be legalised?”

She claimed the “strongest fights usually involve British fans”.

“Insiders also report that leaders of Russian fan groups arrange ‘castings’ to select fighters for upcoming wars with rival fans’ groups,” she wrote.

“Today the most unforgiving fights happen not at stadiums, but ahead of games in forests.

“Such fights are nothing like 20 years ago when they involved drunk youngsters;.

“Nowadays they have professional trained fighters.”

Both Lebedev and Chapman are familiar to the hooligan theme.

After the Battle of Marseilles at Euro 2016, when he was also a member of the RFU executive committee, he said: "Our fans did not do anything extraordinary, and you must understand that in nine cases out of 10, football fans come to the game to fight and it is a normal situation.

"The boys protected the honour of the country and did not give the English a chance to abuse our motherland. Our fans must be understood and forgiven."

He added: "I see nothing wrong in the fans' fighting. On the contrary, well done, our guys. Carry on!”

Fans in watching a game in Russia, Lukhniki Stadium. [Photo/Courtesy]

She declared: "Everyone knows that the wildest football fans in the world are the English.”

Chapman, stripped her her British passport by Theresa May in the wake of the spying scandal, alleged: "A lot of them don't even buy tickets to see the games because their goal is not football, but showing the French who's the boss."

But she boasted that the Russians - who she alleged were outnumbered five to one - still managed to beat the English.

"The fact that ours beat the English is without comment at all…"

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